Deaf flourishing – a fascinating world of research

As a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellow at the University of Manchester (SORD) in the EU Horizon 2020 programme (2015-2017), I studied how the cultural practice of deaf life storytelling can support the wellbeing of British deaf people and deaf migrants in the UK. As a researcher-practitioner of therapeutic life story work, I generated a new cross-cultural intervention called Deaf Life Story Work, harnessing deaf signers’ unique visual strengths and languages.

For more than 10 years, my research has focussed on the capacity of deaf people to "flourish", i.e. to live up to their potential, in wide-ranging settings in both Western and non-Western countries. On this topic, I recently published Deaf Epistemologies, Identity, and Learning: A Comparative Perspective [m2] (2016, Gallaudet University Press, Washington, DC). I draw from a variety of scientific disciplines, including the social sciences, anthropology, deaf studies, deaf education, development studies, and mental health.

My postdoctoral research at the Research Foundation Flanders (FWO) and Ghent University, Belgium, concentrated on the sustainable development of the Flemish and Ugandan sign language communities (2012-2015), and emancipation processes in the Flemish and Cameroonian deaf communities (2009-2012).

Thank you for your interest in my research, and feel free to contact me at Goedele.DeClerck@Manchester.ac.uk